New Commonwealth laws subject to human rights scrutiny
In keeping with the promise put forward in the federal government’s Human Rights Framework in 2010 to increase protection of human rights in Australia, the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth) (‘the Act’) came into effect on 4 January 2012.
The Act introduces two significant changes to the way legislation is to be passed through federal parliament:
- It establishes a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (‘the Committee’) to examine Bills for compliance with certain human rights; and
- It requires a statement of compatibility to be prepared in respect of each Bill introduced into a house of parliament, which assesses whether the Bill is compatible with human rights.